“Global Consumer Culture”, Indiana University, since 2006

  • Lecturer: Richard Wilk
  • Program: Anthropology, bachelor level
  • Duration: one semester; 3 credits; class size: 120
  • Focus: “Learn about major environmental issues facing the planet, understand the origins of modern consumer culture, recognize the student’s own participation in consumer culture, discuss the possible ways consumer culture can change in the future”.
  • Student evaluation: 10 short assignments
  • Novel approaches: difficult for a class this size, but teaching assistants are encouraged to do role playing and group work in discussions sections.
  • Course evaluation: mixed. 1/3 love it; 1/3 don’t make connection to their lives; 1/3 angry/upset because of conflict with their worldview/politics.
  • Challenge: accessing more teaching resources that place an emphasis on political action, and not merely placing moral responsibility on individuals to change their consumption